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Arkansas tops in AP exam improvement

by Arkansas Online | October 11, 2010 at 12:53 p.m.

More Arkansas students got qualifying scores on advanced placement tests between 2009 and 2010, thanks in large part to an incentive-based program implemented two years ago, the state Board of Education announced Monday.

Arkansas was ranked first in the nation for the most number of students with improved scores in math, science and English as well as for the most number of minority-group students with improved test results. A qualifying score is a 3, 4 or 5 on these tests, which earn students college credits.

"This is a proud day for Arkansas and a sign that more of our students are getting an excellent, and not just an adequate, education," Gov. Mike Beebe said. "We will continue this momentum, both to make ongoing improvements, as well as to sustain these outstanding achievements."

The Arkansas Advanced Initiative for Math and Science program, funded by the National Math and Science Initiative, helped students as well as teachers with training and support using financial incentives. The three-year program began in 2008 with 24 schools.

The first group of schools, announced in 2008, saw a 69 percent two-year increase in qualifying students, and a 202 percent two-year increase for minority-group students in math, science, and English.

Related Article

Schools see rise in AP test scores, published August 31, 2010

The 24 schools were: Booneville, El Dorado, Greenbrier, Greene County Tech, Lake Hamilton, Wilbur Mills University Studies, Newport, Little Rock Parkview, Springdale,Springdale Har-Ber, Ashdown, Crossett, Dumas, Fort Smith Northside, Hamburg, Green Forest, Magnolia, Pea Ridge, Rivercrest, Rogers Heritage, Rogers, Russellville, Waldron and KIPP Delta College Preparatory Charter High School in Helena-West Helena.

Of 5,839 test takers in those schools in the 2009-10 school year, 1,751, or 30 percent, scored a three, four or five.

A second set of schools added this past year saw a 74 percent increase in qualifying AP scores in math, science, and English, nine times the national average.

The 31 high schools participating in the Arkansas Advanced Initiative for Math and Science for the 2010-11 school year are: Booneville, El Dorado, Greenbrier, Greene County Tech, Lake Hamilton, Wilbur Mills University Studies, Little Rock Parkview, Springdale,Springdale Har-Ber, Ashdown, Crossett, Dumas, Fort Smith Northside, Hamburg, Green Forest, Magnolia, Pea Ridge, Rivercrest, Rogers Heritage, Rogers, Russellville, Waldron, Jonesboro, West Memphis, Conway-East, Conway-West, Arkadelphia, Sheridan, Smackover, Rison and the KIPP Delta College Preparatory Charter High School in Helena-West Helena.

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